Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Breaking News

In the News

January 28, 2014

GOP candidates vow changes after brain-dead mother

DALLAS — The removal of a brain-dead, pregnant Texas woman from life support has four influential Republicans running for lieutenant governor in agreement again: They say a judge erred, and vowed to tighten state law so it's never repeated.

But the first statewide televised debate Monday night in Texas' most competitive primary also revealed new distinctions — and new attacks — in a race among four big-name conservatives who are almost ideologically identical.

Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson left open the door for medical marijuana legalization in Texas, setting him apart from opponents state Sen. Dan Patrick, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

"I'm not a doctor. But if there is medical efficacy for the use of tetrahydrocannabinol, and the doctor prescribes it, I don't see nothing wrong with it," Patterson said. "We're talking about medicine. We're not talking about recreational use."

Patrick said no way.

"There's no chance of that passing in the Texas Legislature," he said.

But all four candidates said there was no doubt that, if elected, they would strengthen laws so there would be no debate whether a baby should be born in the event of a brain-dead, pregnant mother. A Fort Worth hospital complied Sunday with an order to pull life-sustaining treatment for Marlise Munoz and her 23-week-old fetus.

"It is an extremely difficult set of circumstances. But we need to make certain that as a society, we are protecting life," Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples said.

Dewhurst, Patterson and Patrick echoed similar sentiments.

"We need to clarify the law on this and permit this baby to be born," Dewhurst said.

The fetus was not delivered when John Peter Smith Hospital obeyed the judge's order to take Munoz off life support. She was declared brain-dead in November, but the hospital said it kept her on machines for the sake of the fetus in accordance with Texas law.

The case also triggered debates about abortion and end-of-life decisions.

Stakes were higher in the first statewide televised debate in any race. But this foursome arrived well-rehearsed, if not a little road-weary.

Campaign aides said Monday's debate marked at least the 24th debate or forum featuring all or most of the field. Many are hosted by local tea party groups — yet another was scheduled for Tuesday night in Salado, about 50 miles north of Austin — and follow a script of each candidate parsing otherwise identical conservative stances on border security, education and gun rights.

But for Monday's living-room audiences in Austin, Houston, Dallas and the Rio Grande Valley, candidates were often knocked off their talking points and forced to answer sometimes uncomfortable questions.

Patrick, who filed for bankruptcy in the 1980s, defended not repaying a six-figure debt even though the Houston conservative now has the financial means.

"The law of bankruptcy allows you to start with a clean slate," Patrick said. "I followed the law. It's very tough when you lose everything you have."

Dewhurst, meanwhile, shook off criticism about the past year, including leading the Senate when Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis launched into her nearly 13-hour filibuster and became a national star for her party. He also defended calling a North Texas police department in August on behalf of a family member who was arrested on allegations of shoplifting, which led to opponents of accusing him of abusing his power.

Dewhurst questioned "what kind of man" wouldn't make that call.

"I would like that type of man who would make a call for your family, and would make a call for the people of Texas," Dewhurst said.

Staples later criticized Dewhurst for supporting term limits in a race where he's seeking a fourth term, having been in office since 2002.

The primary is March 4. Awaiting the winner in November is presumptive Democratic nominee Leticia Van de Putte, who emerged as a late challenger to take over the Senate chamber where she's served for a decade.

 

1
Text Only
In the News
  • Kendall Sanders.jpg Kendall Sanders charged with felony sexual assault, improper photography

    A University of Texas police spokeswoman says two Longhorns football players have been charged with felony sexual assault and their arrests are pending.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man gets 2nd death sentence in Dallas slaying

     A jury sentenced a Dallas man to death a second time Wednesday for the 1986 killing of a Dallas civil rights attorney and his wife.

    July 24, 2014

  • Texas woman sentenced to life in stepson's death

     A North Texas jury has sentenced a woman to life in prison for the 2011 starvation death of her 10-year-old stepson.

    July 23, 2014

  • Parsons Athens woman confesses to killing daughter

    Stacie Marie Parsons, 25, walked into the Athens Police Department at 8:46 a.m. Monday and confessed to killing her 4-year-old daughter.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • g000258000000000000f99cd4724578efa27c155fb3a1dcc7c68e3109e5.jpg Suspects sought in armed robberies in Corsicana

    Corsicana Police are looking for suspects in a pair of armed robberies the past week.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Feds: Texas voting maps deliberately discriminated

     The U.S. Justice Department told judges Monday that Texas lawmakers carefully crafted electoral maps marginalizing minority voters despite the state's exploding Hispanic population in a deliberate effort to racially discriminate and protect conservative incumbents.

    July 14, 2014

  • Four children among six dead in suburban Houston shooting

      A father opened fire at a suburban Houston home Wednesday, killing four of his children as well as two adults who were with them, and critically wounding his 15-year-old daughter, authorities said.

    July 10, 2014

  • Corsicana firefighter killed in one-car crash

     An off-duty Corsicana fireman was killed and his two young sons were injured in a one-car crash on FM 709 north of Dawson Tuesday night.

    An off-duty Corsicana fireman was killed and his two young sons were injured in a one-car crash on FM 709 north of Dawson Tuesday night.

    Justice of the Peace Jackie Freeland identified the deceased fireman as Louis Lachney, 46. He was a Lieutenant with the Corsicana Fire Department.

    The crash was reported at 11:27 p.m. Tuesday and occurred  at a sharp curve in the roadway on FM 709 about two miles north of State Highway 31 near Dawson.

    DPS Sgt. Thomas Moore, supervisor at the crash site, said Lachney’s convertible Mazda was traveling north on FM 709 and failed to negotiate a sharp curve, leaving the roadway and overturning several times.

    Moore said Lachney and his two sons who were passengers in the car were all ejected from the vehicle. Moore said the three were apparently not wearing seat belts.

    The two injured boys walked to the roadway following the crash where they were discovered by a passing motorist, who notified law enforcement of the crash.

    Moore said the two boys were transported by air ambulance to a Dallas hospital. He said they were in serious but stable condition when transported from the crash site.

    DPS Trooper LaTonya Daniels is investigating the crash. Corsicana EMS, volunteer firefighters, and Navarro County Sheriff's Office deputies assisted at the crash site. - See more at: http://www.corsicanadailysun.com/local/x611407136/Corsicana-firefighter-killed-in-one-car-crash#sthash.cKzZVvbj.dpuf

    July 9, 2014

  • RNC to be held in Cleveland

    A Republican National Committee panel is recommending Cleveland to host the party's 2016 presidential convention.

    July 8, 2014

  • ADR logo.tif Border money request won't include policy change

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

Biz Marquee
AP Video
Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return